Jordan Henderson is ready to deputise for Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard at Euro 2012 after he admitted the criticism of his debut season at Anfield had made him "more of a man".

The England midfielder, signed by Kenny Dalglish from Sunderland for £16.6m last summer, struggled to hold down a regular place in the first-XI and was often played out of position on the right-hand side of midfield.

Despite an underwhelming first campaign, Hodgson promoted the 21-year-old into the country's European Championship squad after injury ruled out Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry.

Henderson admitted his Liverpool form had been "up and down" all season but refused to use being played out of position as an excuse for his erratic form.

"At times I did quite well and have been pleased," he said. "At different times I have been disappointed with my performances and the way I have played. But I am going to come across that. That is part and parcel of football.

"I have to deal with it and that will help me improve in the future. I have had a lot of great experiences even in this past year and it has made me more of a man.

"Maybe at the start of the season I needed to deal with the increased scrutiny that comes with playing for Liverpool a little bit better.

"But I wouldn't want it any other way: I've taken it quite well and it's the way I like it to be. I would rather have people criticising. It gives you that little bit more incentive to go and prove them wrong.

"It's more important what the manager at Liverpool and my team-mates think, or the manager and the players with England."

"I've heard people say it'll be easier to judge me when I've played in the middle, but they're probably just protecting me. I should be able to play both positions.

"I have played on the right quite a lot now so I should be able to do that just as well even if, given the chance in the middle, hopefully I can do a good job there as well."

Hodgson admitted on Monday that he was not convinced Gerrard and Scott Parker could continue to play every four days in Poland and Ukraine.

That has put Henderson in line to appear in either Friday's second Group D game against Sweden or Tuesday's final match against co-hosts Ukraine.

The Liverpool midfielder, who came on for the last 13 minutes of Monday's opening 1-1 draw with France, said: "I will be ready if I am needed.

"The conditions are very hot and the players are working very hard, so whoever is on the bench has got to be ready to come on and have an impact on the game when they do come on.

"For anyone in an England squad, it's a massive achievement and I'm delighted to be here. But I am not just here to be on the sidelines and watch. I want to make sure I train well and, if needed, I am there and I am ready to play my part."